5 Best Small Wood Burning Stoves

Written by: Jamie

Updated on: May 26, 2022

In today's guide, we recommend the best small wood stoves for cabins, small homes, and tiny houses. We also explain everything you need to know before you buy.

small wood stove in a bedroom

Using a mini wood stove is romantic and nostalgic, but also cheap and incredibly effective. It's a great way of heating a small space like a cabin or tiny house.

With a growing demand for small room heaters there has never been a better choice of tiny wood stoves available. 

In our guide we'll cover everything you need to know about small wood burning stoves.

What size do you need? How should they be installed? We've got all the answers below.

Plus, we recommend the top compact wood stoves ready to buy right now (see our favorite here).

There's a comparison table where you can assess the key features and also more detailed small efficient wood stove reviews.

Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we may make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Best Small Wood Stove Reviews

Here's our pick of the top tiny stoves for cabins and small homes available right now.

Start off with the comparison table below where we've shortlisted our 3 favorite models. 

There are more detailed reviews of all of our recommendations following the table.

Smallest Wood Stove

Cub Cubic Mini Stove

Cub Cubic mini stove in brass
  • Measures just 11" (W) x 12" (H) x 10.5" (D)
  • Heats spaces up to 200 ft2
  • Easy to install

Great Value

Timberwolf EPA 2100

Timberwolf EPA 2100 wood stove
  • +85% efficiency
  • Heats spaces of 500 - 1,500 ft2
  • 5-year warranty



Read about our recommended models in more detail now.

We explain what makes them special and why they're deserving of your attention.


Our Top Pick


Grizzly Cubic Mini Stove 

A small but mighty wood burner that's perfect for tiny homes

Cubic mini stove in black

The Grizzly Mini is our small wood burning stove of choice for a number of reasons.


It's a really dependable wood burner that packs a heck of a punch when it comes to burn efficiency.


Comfortably heating areas of up to 400 square feet, it's the perfect size for small homes, cabins and tiny houses.

Key Features

  • Low clearances (especially with wall mount & shielding)
  • Heats spaces up to 400 square feet
  • 8,000 - 18,000 BTU/h heating capacity
  • Suitable for cooking
  • Secondary combustion for cleaner burn


At just 13 inches wide, 15 inches tall, and 12 inches deep this really is a small wood stove. It's so compact and has very minimal surface clearances that you'll be surprised how much space you'll have left.


When used in conjunction with one of the three available wall mounts you'll reduce the rear clearance to essentially nothing and just 3 inches to adjoining walls when used in conjunction with the shielding.


But, don't let its small stature fool you. This tiny burner packs a fiery punch that'll have spaces of up to 400 square feet feeling toasty in no time at all.


Constructed mainly of laser cut steel with a vermiculate firebrick insulation, it's an efficient holder of heat. The 7 7/8" x 5 3/4" self cleaning ceramic glass window invites your eyes to gaze upon the dancing flames and creates a wonderful ambience on cold winter evenings.


The insulated firebox is obviously not the largest on the market but it is capable of holding logs of a maximum size of 6 ¾” long. It can also fit up to five 2” x 4” pieces of wood.


A burn time of between 2-4 hours is achievable with logs of around 6 inches. That's not a bad output at all, especially for such a tiny wood burning stove and certainly good enough to keep a room warm overnight. Seasoned hard wood and pressed logs are preferable and offer the longest burn times.


Cubic mini stove side view


Being such a small wood burner, the Grizzly Cubic stove needs a trick or two and thankfully it doesn't disappoint.


A secondary combustion allows it to maximize energy efficiency and use energy that would be otherwise lost to the flue.


Oxygen is pulled in from a secondary air vent and mixed with escaping exhaust gases. This mixture of oxygen rich air is then recycled through the firebox, keeping the combustion as hot as possible.


This provides the stove with extra energy to output as heat. Without this trick, this same energy is lost up the flue pipe as wasted heat.

Cubic mini stove measurements

We get asked a lot about multi-function stoves that can be used for cooking and boiling water, and the truth is there just aren't that many available that are truly small.


So, can you cook with this mini wood burning stove? You bet! 


You can cook directly on top (just be careful not to add anything flammable like grease or oil) but ideally you want the 'Mini Roaster' as an additional extra.


Cook meals or even cakes with a built-in thermometer and vents for temperature control. It's an awesome little device that we thoroughly recommend if you'll be cooking fairly regularly.


Another question we get asked fairly often with small wood stoves is how to install them.


The great thing about small stoves with small surface clearances and 3 inch flues is that installation is usually fairly straight forward. With some DIY "know how" you'll be able to install the Grizzly by yourself.


There's a really helpful 'Build Your Order' tool on the official website that walks you through the exact parts you'll need for your particular installation.


There's also a great explainer video that goes through the process in a way that's easy to understand.


Pros

  • Efficient heating
  • Low surface clearances
  • 8,000 - 18,000 BTU/h heating
  • Secondary combustion
  • Suitable for cooking
  • Takes up very little space

Cons

  • Shorter burn time than regular sized stove
  • Glass needs regular cleaning

Bottom Line

The Grizzly from Cubic Mini Stoves really is an awesome little wood burning stove.


It's designed to efficiently heat small spaces with the minimum of fuss.


Low clearances and a compact design make it our small wood burner of choice here at Tiny House, Huge ideas.









Smallest Wood Stove


Cub Cubic Mini Stove 

The smallest wood burner of real quality in 2022

Cub Cubic mini stove in brass

The finest really small wood stoves are those built by companies that listen to their customers and are committed to improvements.


Cubic Mini Wood Stoves is one such company.


You might be able to tell from their name, they are specialist manufacturers of wood stoves designed for compact spaces.


They understand the mechanics that go into making powerful and efficient little wood burners better than anyone.


And if you're looking for the perfect wood stove for a tiny house then the Cub should be high on your list.


Compact, reliable, and very efficient, it's the smallest wood burning stove that we'd go as far as to recommend in 2022.


Measuring just 11" (width) x 12" (height) x 10.5" (depth), it really is small compared to the traditional wood burners that you've probably encountered before.


It was designed for use on a boat, where space is at a premium, and it's this clever engineering that's made it such a hit with tiny house owners and log cabin dwellers worldwide.


Key Features

  • Secondary combustion reduces smoke
  • Heats spaces up to 200 square feet
  • 6,000 - 14,000 BTU/h heating capacity
  • Low surface clearances
  • Extremely compact


But, despite being small in stature, it's a really sturdy unit that's capable of a heating output of 6,000 - 14,000 BTU.


To put that into perspective, it can effectively heat spaces of up to 200 square feet. That's quite a punch for such a tiny wood burning stove!


However, the caveat it that it only heats effectively with low ceilings. So, if you need something a bit more powerful then don't miss the Grizzly Stove by Cubic Mini.

Cub Cubic mIni stove front view

Constructed mainly of laser cut steel with a vermiculate firebrick insulation, it's an efficient holder of heat.


The 3/16" thick self cleaning glass frames the combustion beautifully and provides a clear view for you to relax watching with a glass of wine in the evening.


It's an efficient little burner too. A secondary combustion system pulls oxygen from the secondary air intake on the bottom to be reignited with gases emitted by the burning wood in the firebox.


This provides the stove with extra energy to output as heat. Energy that would otherwise be lost to the flue pipe.


Seasoned are wood logs are recommend (though it works well with pressed logs too) as these provide the longest and cleanest burn. Ideally, logs of around 5-6 inches are best. They are large enough to provide a long burn but still allow sufficient airflow around the sides for efficient combustion.


It should be noted that a side effect of being such a small wood burning a stove is that burn times are less. A smaller firebox means less wood (and smaller logs) which means you'll need to fuel it more often.

Cub Cubic mini side view

The Cub mini wood stove can be mounted in two ways. Either on the floor or on the wall. There are two different floor mounts and three wall mounts available.


The wall mounts are great for those that are really pressed for space as they dramatically reduce the clearance distance to the surface it's mounted to and below the stove. This ensures you maximise every inch of space in your room.


However, generally speaking the surface clearances are really low provided you use shielding. Around 3 inches is needed if you choose shielding or around 9 inches without. You can watch a helpful short explainer video on installation here.

Pros

  • Tiny footprint
  • Low clearances
  • 6,000 -14,000 BTU/h
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Straight forward installation
  • Measures just 11" (w) x 12" (h) x 10.5" (d)

Cons

  • Small fuel chamber
  • Only effective with low ceilings (7 feet max)

Bottom Line

The Cub Cubic Mini Wood Stove is the smallest wood stove of real quality that we feel comfortable recommending to our readers.


Compact, reliable, and capable of heating efficiently and effectively, it's a great option for tiny homes and wood cabins.












Great Value


Timberwolf EPA 2100

A powerful little wood burning stove that burns cleanly too.

Timberwolf EPA 2100 wood stove

The Timberwolf EPA 2100 is a great option if you need a small wood stove with a bit more heat output.


Despite having a relatively small footprint it pumps out an impressive 52,000 BTU/hour of heat energy.


Coming with a choice of legs or pedestal, this small burner manages to burn cleanly too. With an independently certified particle emission rate of 1.57 grams/hour, it burns as cleanly as anything of its size we've seen on the market.


However, it should be noted that it lacks official EPA certification (though it meets the requirements). These figures are the result of testing from another independent certifier (Polytests). You can see them here.



Key Features

  • Up to 85.5% efficiency
  • Heats spaces of 500 - 1,500 square feet
  • 6 hour burn time
  • 26" W x 31 1/2" H x 21 5/8" D
  • 5-year warranty


Clearances to Combustibles


Being a small stove it naturally fits more snuggly into small spaces with limited wall clearance.


Take a quick look at the minimum clearances to surfaces in the diagram and table below.

wood stove clearances
Header

Single Wall Connector

Double Wall Connector

Sidewall (A)

19"

19"

Sidewall to Flue (B)

28 and 7/8"

28 and 7/8"

Backwall (C)

17 and 1/2"

17 and 1/2"

Backwall to Flue (D)

21"

16"

Corner (E)

11"

7"

Ceiling (F)

84"

75"




Small but Mighty


With dimensions of 26" (w) x 31 1/2" (h) x 21 5/8" (d) this compact wood stove is well suited to life in a small space. However, it's capable of heating up to 1,500 square feet with its efficient heat output.


The fully refractory lined firebox has a 1.5 cu. ft. capacity that can hold logs of up to 18" and can burn for up to 6 hours. To get the most heat out of this little stove it should really be paired with the optional blower kit, but it's not essential.

Timberwolf EPA2100 small wood burning stove

With more of a traditional style than a lot of the stoves on the market in 2022, in our opinion, the Timberwolf looks best with the standard leg styling. However, the optional ash pan kit will work with the pedestal option too.


Our favorite feature is the large ceramic glass window that frames the flames beautifully. Fitted on a cast iron door, it has a really solid feel to it too.


But besides the stove itself, possibly the best thing here is the outstanding value for money on offer. Wood stoves like these can prohibitively expensive but not this one! We were genuinely surprised when we saw the price and we think you will be too!


Pros

  • Low emissions
  • High efficiency
  • 52,000 BTU/hr output
  • 6 hour burn time
  • Great value
  • 5-year warranty

Cons

  • Not EPA certified (has other independent certification)
  • Might be too big for a tiny house

Bottom Line

The Timberwolf EPA 2100 is a great little burner for those that need something a bit bigger.


It offers amazing value for money and looks great in both traditional and contemporary settings.











Hi-Flame Shetland

Hi Flame Shetland wood stove

The Shetland is a clever little wood burning stove that looks great too. It features some smart design that means it packs a massive efficiency rating of 85%.

This is one of the highest efficiency ratings that we have seen, and it's made even more impressive when you consider that this is one of the smallest wood burning stoves on our list.

It produces such a clean burn by using pre-heated tertiary air which gets the very most out of the wood fuel. The higher the burn efficiency the more money you will save on fuel in the long term.

The Hi-Flame Shetland will produce up to 21,000 BTU and will heat an area of up to 800 square feet. This makes it the perfect size heater for small homes and cabins. It is small in stature too, and won't take up much space.

In fact, there is the option of using a top or rear flue which gives some flexibility over where it is installed. It doesn't need much surface clearance from walls either. A steel rear heat shield gives better air convection and decreases the clearance distance.

Besides having some well engineered design features, it also looks great. It's made of furniture quality solid cast iron and has a massive ceramic glass window on the door. The big window gives a great view of the fire, which will improve the atmosphere of any room.

The excellent build quality is backed by an impressive 7-year warranty. This is the longest warranty we've encountered in our research and another reason why this stove stands out in a crowded marketplace.

    Key Features

  • Price: $$$$
  • Heat Output: 21,000 BTU
  • Efficiency: 85%
  • Heat Radius: up to 800 ft2
  • Weight: 174 lbs
  • Dimensions: 17"(w) x 24"(h) x 18"(d)
  • Low clearance distance
  • Great build quality
  • 7-year warranty



Vogelzang Defender

Vogelzang defender wood stove

The Vogelzang Defender is our favorite wood burning stove in terms of looks and the overall ambience it creates. It has a huge glass door that allows an amazing view of the fire inside.

The Defender is made of plate steel, formed into an air tight finish. It has a pewter and nickel trim and a charcoal black finish. The door is made of heavy cast iron, with a 14.5" x 8" ceramic glass viewing window.

The Defender features an innovative way of getting the most possible energy out of the wood that you are burning. There is an air vent at the front of the stove that helps light the fire, and an air inlet at the back that routes air through three tubes directly above the burning wood. These air inlets ensure that the wood burns efficiently. In turn, this means the wood will burn longer, costing you less in fuel expenses.

The Defender actually has an EPA certificate for its efficiency in burning. Burn efficiency is incredibly important as it affects how much wood you will need to use and also the emissions that are produced in the combustion process. 

Update: it doesn't meet new May 2022 EPA requirements.

The Defender will provide up to 68,00 BTUs of heating power. This will comfortably heat areas of up to 1,200 square feet. It also comes with a blower to ensure an even distribution of heat. Whether or not you need the blower depends on the ventilation in your room.

The Vogelzang Defender also has adjustable legs. This is a nice feature that means you can give it a bit more clearance from nearby surfaces, or even save a bit more space.

    Key Features

  • Price: $$$
  • Heat Output: 68,000 BTU
  • Heat Radius: up to 1,200 ft2
  • Weight: 265 lbs
  • Dimensions: 23.5"(w) x 28"(h) x 25.5"(d)
  • Comes with blower
  • Adjustable legs
  • Large glass window


Recommended Reading: Our post on cleaning wood stove glass is a must read if you want your stove to stay looking pretty.



Conclusion

It really depends on your particular situation as to which model is best for your home, cabin, or RV.

If you're working with a really tight space, then the Cub Cubic Mini wood stove deserves your attention.

It really is tiny when compared to the other models. You might even call this a micro wood stove!

The drawbacks here though are that it will need filled with fuel more often and it just won't provide as much heat as the larger of the small indoor wood stoves.

But, if you have a small space of 200 square feet or less (with a ceiling of 7 feet or less) then this really is the stove for you.

Our absolute favorite is the Grizzly from Cubic Mini Stoves.

It's just a great combination of all the things people look for in a small wood burner.

Our Top Pick

Grizzly Cubic Mini Stove

Cub Cubic Mini wood stove

 - Heats spaces up to 400 square feet

- Measures only 13" x 15 x 12"

- Suitable for cooking

- Super low surface clearances


It packs a bit more of a fiery punch than its sister version, the Cub, but remains small in stature with low surface clearances.

It really is an awesome little wood burner that is becoming a bit of a sensation among the tiny house community.

But, as you know, buying a wood burner is a big decision not to be taken lightly.

Take your time, get all the facts, and make sure you do your homework on installation and clearance distances.

small wood stove burning in bedroom


Buyer's Guide

Before you buy a tiny house wood burning stove make sure you're aware of the things that matter.

It's important that you get the right stove for your situation and that it's fit for purpose.

Here's a short introduction to mini wood burning stoves and our checklist of things to consider before you buy.


Why Get a Wood Burning Stove?

The small space wood stove is more popular than ever because modern designs are much more energy efficient than traditional fireplaces.

They produce more energy, and produce less air pollution in doing so.

However, like any source of energy, wood burning has its positive points and also its drawbacks.

Before we go any further, let's take a look at the real reasons for and against mini wood stoves like these.


The Pros & Cons of Wood Burners


Pros

  • They are elegant and create a wonderful atmosphere.
  • It's the perfect off-grid heating solution.
  • Fuel (wood chips, logs, lumber) is easily available, renewable, sustainable.
  • Fuel prices are cheap (sometimes free) and stable.
  • The best small wood stoves are now EPA certified to prove they burn efficiently and are not heavy polluters.
  • Small, efficient wood stoves are cleaner burners than oil and coal based systems.

Cons

  • Burning wood emits carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and soot into the air. These are hazardous to our health. Modern small wood heaters must meet certain air quality standards.
  • You must make sure you have a carbon monoxide alarm installed
  • As they require a constant supply of fuel, you must consider the storage space of the wood.
  • Wood comes in many different shapes and sizes, and with different levels of moisture. These all affect how it will burn. This means the consistency of heating might not always be the same.
  • You will need a chimney pipe for the combustion gas.
  • A wood fire must be lit and tended to. Plus, you might need to chop wood. If you're not an active person then this method of heating might not be for you.

Conclusion:

There are certainly sizeable drawbacks to heating your home with a wood burner.


However, if you choose an EPA certified, cleaner burning model and aren't put off by going "back to basics" so to speak, then these drawbacks can be easily discounted.


The truth is, nothing beats sitting in front of a warm stove on a cold night!



Wood Stoves Vs Propane and Gas Stoves

Propane heaters are a popular choice for RVs and tiny houses, and there are many good reasons for this. But, like any fuel source there are drawbacks too.

Let's see how small log burners compare with the common alternative. To do this we'll see how they differ in 4 key categories.

These are: cost, maintenance, environment, and aesthetics.

  1. Cost - A key feature in favor of small wood burning stoves is that the cost of wood will always remain low and steady. In fact, for some it will even be free. Compare this with the cost of propane which is dependent on international markets and can fluctuate greatly.
  2. Maintenance - This area is where the propane heater really shines. Simply connect the gas canister and you're done until next time. With a wood burning stove you may need to chop your own wood, dry the wood, light a fire, and tend to the fire. This is a lot more labor intensive.
  3. Environment - Gas burns cleaner than wood. It emits less soot and air pollution. However, most modern wood burning stoves are EPA certified, which means less smoke and better efficiency than before.
  4. Aesthetics - A hands down win for the wood burning heaters. They can transform the mood and ambience of a room or small space. The best wood stoves are classic in design and often the center piece of a room.

Recommended Article: Learn all about small pellet stoves in our big guide.

wood stove and basket of logs

Safety Notes About Small Wood Burning Stoves

These units can work really well in tiny houses and small spaces, but they must be installed carefully and safety should be the priority.

A wood burning stove will obviously be a fire hazard, but it also emits some potentially deadly gases like carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide.

However, if you follow the recommended installation guidelines you can rest at ease.

Here are a few key points that should be considered prior to buying a high efficiency wood stove.

  1. Flue - the flue is the chimney which will carry the gases made in the stove out of your home. Consider the heat of the flue pipe, and the path it must take out of your home. The flue pipe must be inspected at regular intervals to make sure it is in good condition. It may also need cleaned from time to time to make sure there is no buildup that could become a fire hazard.
  2. Positioning - installing a tiny house wood stove can be a bit of a headache. It must be clear of any potential fire hazards, and you're not exactly blessed with floor space. The stove manufacturers will provide a recommended clearance distance. Check out the image below for some typical values.
  3. Fire Safety - burning wood produces deadly carbon monoxide gas. Make sure you have a fully operational CO alarm, and that it is tested regularly.
wood-stove-installation-clearance

                        Typical Clearance Distances for a Wood Stove


Recommended Reading: Increase your stove's heat efficiency with a heat powered fan.


Before You Buy: 3 Step Checklist

If you're new to these home heaters then make sure you've got these 3 points checked off to avoid any surprises!

1

Make sure it adhere's to new EPA emission standards.

As of May 2022, the EPA has revised its emission standards for wood burning appliances.


It has been lowered from 4.5 g/h to just 2.5 g/h. 


g/h is the number of grams of fine particles emitted by an appliance per hour of combustion.


This means now new wood stoves sold in the US must meet this emission standard.


Unfortunately, the smaller wood stoves are generally less efficient and many now no longer meet the EPA criteria. That means much less choice.


The good news is that all stoves that meet this standard will save you more money in fuel as they burn much more efficiently. They're also much less harmful to the environment and your lungs.


Wood stoves that exceed 75% burn efficiency may be eligible for a $300 tax credit too.



2

If space is tight, make sure you know the recommended clearance distances.

The clearance distance is the minimum distance allowed from the stove to the nearest surfaces (walls and ceiling).


It varies with each model and also changes according to the way that it is placed in a room (will it be placed in a corner or will it be parallel to a wall?).


Using a double wall chimney connector, and also using protective materials on the wall can reduce the clearance distances.


If space is tight in your tiny house, make sure you can meet the recommended clearance distances before you buy.


In no circumstances should you ignore these recommended clearances. They are there to safeguard your home against fire hazards.


3

How much heating power will you need for your home?

The heat that a stove can produce is measured in British Thermal Units (BTU).


One BTU is the amount of heat needed to increase the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.


This figure can be misleading when quoted by manufacturers as it is gained under optimal conditions (usually in a lab). But, if conditions are equal between stoves then it's a great comparison tool.


Just remember that you'll be hard pushed to replicate these numbers in your home.


The average sized home would probably need no more than 20,000 BTUs per hour of continuous heat to stay warm, even in winter time. Even this figure is a maximum one.


The average sized house is around 2,600 square feet, while a tiny house would range between 100-400 square feet.


Wood Stove Maintenance

It's essential that you check your device regularly to ensure that it is running efficiently, and of course safely.

There are a few simple checks that you should do. Here's a brief guideline to maintaining a stove of this kind.

  1. The chimney and chimney connector should be checked every month for the first few months, and around every two months thereafter. When wood burns slowly it creates creosote vapors that can cool in the chimney to form a solid build-up. Any creosote build-up should be removed to prevent a fire risk.
  2. Check for damages to joints, and the chimney outlet at least twice per year. Gaps can be identified using a dark room and a flashlight.
  3. Check that the glass isn't cracked or chipped, and that the seals are good at least twice per year. Gaps in the seals can be found with a flashlight in a dark room. Repairs should be carried out with fire cement, or replacement parts.
  4. Check that the stove door seals tightly at least twice per year. You can do this by putting a piece of paper in the door. When pulling the paper out you should feel real resistance.


Our Top Pick

Grizzly Cubic Mini Stove

Cub Cubic Mini wood stove

 - Heats spaces up to 400 square feet

- Measures only 13" x 15 x 12"

- Suitable for cooking

- Super low surface clearances


That's our guide to the top tiny house wood stoves complete. We hope this post has been of value to you.

If you have any questions then don't hesitate to get in contact at the bottom of the page. We'll get back to you promptly.

Check back soon as we have lots of new posts and ideas coming in the near future.


Extra Sources

The Balance

About the Author Jamie

I'm an English teacher and writer. I'm passionate about the environment and love the tiny house movement!

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  1. Your comparison is excellent, however, I would argue that a wood stove is far more environmentally friendly than a gas stove for these reasons:
    1: gas may burn cleaner than wood but it is a non-renewable, petrochemical resource that takes far more energy (and creates significant pollutants) to extract, refine, and transport than wood. Taking into account the comprehensive total of the each fuels’ production, distribution and consumption byproducts, wood is by far the greener option.
    2. Wood has a closed loop cycle whereby the co2 emitted when burned is used by growing trees. I.E. if you burn an 80 year old tree the co2 is reabsorbed in another 80 years. The co2 released by gas production and use is not recovered by the processes that created the gas on any scale that is reasonable to discuss. Hence, fossil fuels.
    3. My experience is that having to locate, chop, stack, and stoke my own wood and fire means that I am willing to tolerate a few degrees colder to save on the work it takes to acquire the fuel. Gas makes you lazy with your fuel consumption.

    Thanks for your consideration,
    Brad

    1. Excellent points Brad! I appreciate the input.
      Reason 3 especially is probably never considered by most (myself included), but makes so much sense.

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